Working With Multiple Calendars in Outlook 2010


The following is a Guest Post by MVP Eric Legault

Calendaring has long been one of Outlook's greatest strengths. Millions of users organize their hectic jobs and lives using Appointment items and Meeting Requests to keep track of important events with many kinds of people and groups. However, managing all of these dates and schedules is a continual challenge. Outlook has always provided ways to open other people's calendars in a corporate environment. Starting with Outlook 2007, new features were added to share your Calendar to other users over the Internet, organize your Calendars into groups in the Navigation Pane, and to view multiple Calendars using Side-By-Side and Overlay modes.

Although it's now far easier to view multiple Calendars, going back and forth from viewing a single Calendar to a changing set of Calendar groups was a challenge. Now Outlook 2010 gives us Calendar Groups. Creating a new group is easy - simply click the Calendar Groups drop down in the Manage Calendar tab on the Home ribbon and select "Create New Calendar Group":


Figure 1 - Creating a new Calendar Group

The Address Book dialog will then be displayed and ask you to choose the users whose Calendars you want displayed in that group.

Note that these groups differ from organizing multiple Calendars under a unique heading that we were used to in Outlook 2007. The key change is that we can now select the group to automatically display all Calendars in that group alongside the Calendar we are currently viewing. So if you are looking at your own Calendar, and want to add the Calendars for the Marketing team to your view, click the check box next to the Marketing group to quickly display all three Calendars side-by-side:


Figure 2 - Selecting Calendar Groups

Going back to viewing just your own Calendar is as simple as clearing the check box for the Marketing group!

If you want to create a new Calendar Group from Calendars you are already looking at, simply click the Calendar Groups drop down in the Manage Calendar tab on the Home ribbon and select "Save as New Calendar Group”. The active Calendars will now be added to their very own group in the Navigation Pane.

What’s even better for viewing multiple Calendars in Outlook 2010 is the new Schedule View. Using overlays is fine, but sometimes the details from many Calendars all mashed together with different colors can be a little disconcerting. The Schedule View keeps all Calendar details separate in their own lane, so you can more easily see at a glance who is available (or off on a much needed vacation!):


Figure 3 - Schedule View

About the Author:

Eric Legault, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Outlook since 2003, is the founder of Collaborative Innovations, a Micro ISV and consulting services provider specializing on Microsoft messaging and collaboration solutions.  Eric has over 14 years of experience in the computer industry, and has focused his energies developing solutions based on Microsoft application platforms such as Microsoft Office (especially Outlook), SharePoint and Exchange.  He holds certifications as a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) for Messaging & Collaboration, SharePoint Infrastructure, WSS 3.0 Application Development and MOSS 2007 Application Development.  Eric has also published articles in MSDN, Office Online, Windows IT Pro magazine and various online technology newsletters, edited books on Outlook, SharePoint and Access,  and maintains a blog on Outlook programming and SharePoint technologies. His current focus is on developing custom Outlook Add-Ins to integrate line of business applications or enhance collaboration processes and workflows. Eric is also engaged with technical communities as a co-founder of the Winnipeg SharePoint User Group and via speaking engagements at conferences around the globe.

Comments (32)

  1. Dominic Jaar says:

    Have you had any success adding a Google calendar in Outlook 2010 on a Windows 7 X64?

    Cheers Eric!


  2. Paulette Suddarth says:

    I love the post. I've been trying to figure out how to use Outlook for some resource scheduling for small events. The calendar groups and the overlays will help! I love that I learned something I can apply, rather than just learning about the great things MVPs do!

  3. Daniel says:

    I tend to use Folder View the most and prefer it. Is there a way to get overlays in this view when clicking on CALENDAR? In 2007 they would revert to the main calendar.

  4. Brett says:

    Is it possible to sync a Private and Public Calendar on Outlook 2010?

    I have looked around for a while and can't seem to find a way to this…

    Help would be much appreciated!


  5. Michael says:

    But how do I make it so I can view all of my calendars in Month-view, all on one regular month view?

    In other words, I have 10 calendars. Before, all of my events in 2007 were color coordinated to correspond with the appropriate calendar, which it was associated. In 2010, when I try ti view all of the calendars in Month-view, I get 10 columns of mess that I can't even begin to understand. It's extremely frustrating. The thing I loved about Outlook was my ability to combine multiple calendars from multiple locations, all in one view.

  6. Tyrone says:

    What about an individual maintaining multiple calendars for them self? In other words, have a Personal Calendar for family stuff, and also have your Company calendar?

  7. K says:

    Is it possible to sync a Private and Public Calendar on Outlook 2010?

  8. Nir says:

    hey, i schedualed a meeting to a few of my bosses. the all approved  but one of them is not showing the appoinetment in the calendar. what can i do ?

  9. Jennifer says:

    I have shared several calendars with co-workers, but only half of them can see the categories that I designated for the calendars.  Any advice as to what I can do to get the categories to pick up on the calendars that they didn't transfer with?

  10. G says:

    I created a calendar in Outlook 2007, but can't seem to bring it up in some of our staff's Outlook 2010 edition calendars?

  11. DK says:

    Is there still a limit of only being able to include 30 calendars in a group calendar?  I need the ability to view 80+ calendars.  Is there any work-around?

  12. SF says:

    Great article! I know how to get Outlook to open straight up with calendar view but does anyone know how to open in multiple calendar view or calendar group view?

  13. Jasper says:

    Bug: when multiple calendars are used overlayed on top of each other, the focus often automatically jumps to the bottom calendar of the stack. This bottom calendar is automatically selected.  It happens when switching from Mail to Calendar. This is annoying, because I only edit the top calendar. The other calendars in the stack are of colleagues and I only want to view those. I manually change the focus back to the top calendar, but when I switch back and forth between Mail and Calendar, the bottom calendar is selected again!

  14. Ken Wallewein says:

    Speaking of focus, that can cause some real problems with scheduling meetings.   If I'm using calendars in Overlay mode and click on a date/time to schedule a meeting with other people, it will by default create that meeting with the organizer being whoever's calendar has the focus at that moment.  Further, it appears to be impossible to _change_ that organizer without deleteing the meeting completely, confusing all of the attendees.  Both of those behaviors really need to be changed.  It should at _least_ warn me that I am creating a meeting request with the organizer being someone than myself!


  15. Andre Petty says:

    All I want to do is view *one* calendar which happens to be a shared calendar.  Outlook 2010 does not let me specify this as the default view so I have to do 3 clicks *every single time* that I switch from mail or contacts or whatever to the calendar.  fancy overlays etc or not, it is Lousy! that a feature as simple as setting a default calendar is not available!  (BTW: if I am just ignorant of how to do what I need, let me know!–

  16. Diego says:

    Is it possible to sync a public folder to a group of I-phones?

  17. Ryan says:

    I created multiple calendars in outlook 2010, and we used exchange as our company email platform. One of these calendars is an internet calendar, while another is an outlook calendar. When scheduling a meeting, the default calendar is visible through the Schedule Assistant, however the other 2 calendars are not.  I have tried changing the permissions, but that does not seem to help.  How can I allow the other calendars to be visible to show free/busy time when they schedule appointments with me?

  18. Mark says:

    I want to share just availabiltiy with multiple individual calendars to someone outside my Company.  Doesn't appear to have the option or I can't find it.  I've done with my single calander and it works great.  would not like to do it with multiple.  Did I miss something?

  19. Lee Hudman says:

    How about putting in an option to have everything show up on ONE calendar?????? No overlays (ugh!), no multiple calendars (double ugh!). There is only one of me, and I have only one schedule.  I'm currently using a third party software so that if I enter an appt. on my iPad, or iPhone or in Outlook 2010, or a family member adds and appointment, that the appt. gets copied to every calendar, but it is still a mess to deal with.  Even if I was coordinating with multiple co-workers, I would still only want one calendar.  I know that this is a shared need with MANY other outlook users for a LONG time.  The BIG issue here is that only the main calendar shows up on the to-do list, which can be seen at all times, so this means that the to-do clist annot be trusted as being accurate with multiple calendars (triple ugh!!)!!!

  20. really MS you missed an easy one. says:

    What Jasper said and it's a year and a half later and still an issue.  Sad….

  21. Brian Snowdon says:

    I'd like to report on certain categories of appointment that people in my calendar group have created, in list view yet when I switch to list fron viewing multiple calendars in schedule view, I can only view the list of my own calendar entries. Is it possible for Office 2010 ilst view to include morethan one calendar, and filter this by category?

  22. Salman says:

    Is there a way to viewhave multiple team calenders?

  23. CH says:

    I have multiple calendars including one specifically for Birthdays and Anniversaries  but now for some reason I am unable to edit the Birthday Calendar . Viewing is not a problem. System advises to speak with Owner ( me) or check Permissions. As I am the Owner there is no Permissions option.

    Can anyone please  help?

  24. Renata says:

    I can view all of my calendars, but i cannot open them and my email at the same time so i can see both. is there a way to do that.


  25. JS says:

    When you have multiple calendars open, how can you rearragne the order?  I like my calendar to be first on the left.  For some reason, one day that changed when I opened another calendar.

  26. Michelle v says:

    I am a PA.  I have multiple calendars for staff open to make appointments. Can I set up my calendar to ensure that the appointment comes from mine.

    When I hit new appointment, if my cursor is in someone else's it comes up as my name on behalf of their name instead of coming from me.  Responses then go to them and not me and look like they invited people not me, any clues?  Is there a default to ensure that any appointments I make come from me?

  27. Harold says:

    Have you found a way to only include your work calendar versus every calendar you create on a mobile device  for example  create account in outlook  

    added account to mobile device

    its pulling in my calendar and the calendar I created for scheduling which is tied to my email account  is there a way to only synch the one calendar? I don't need to see the schedule calendar

  28. L. (Doug) says:

    Eric -I love Outlook and use it constantly in my business. I currently have two business computers that I want to use Outlook across both of them using the same calendar in each. Normally 99% of the input is done on computer A. I would like to then sink that input with computer B. Computer B.  is where my business accounting and billing software(Wintac) is kept. I take information from Outlook and use it to input Via "copy & paste " command needed data into Wintac. At the time that this data is copied and pasted it is encoded by using some company derived alphanumeric symbols to signify that it has been entered into Wintac. After this process of encoding is done computer B then needs to be re-synced with computer show the changes, there by keeping Computer A synced with computer B. Currently this is being done using a thumb drive which is cumbersome and prone to potential errors or even worse,  possibly data loss. If you will please suggest the very best way to resolve this situation. Please be as detailed as you can as I certainly am not by any stretch of the imagination a computer geek. By the way I am using Outlook version 2007 and both of the computers are running Windows 7. If you will please carbon copy to the following e-mail address :  Doug

  29. Michael Riley says:

    I have created a seperate calendar for each year since 2008. These calendars show all my audit dates for that year. I want to keep each yearly audit calendar for historical evidence. however after about six months into the next year all the information in the audit calenar for the past year is automatically deleted. Can anyone suggest a solution?



  30. Gene says:

    Multiple calendars ranks as one of the worst features of outlook EVER. I am one person and just want one calendar! Why do I have to have one for every email and mobile. Add exchange and calendar is totally unusable. From what I have read merging calendars is a one time event that has to be repeated constantly. I should get to chose if I want to add a calendar for any reason.

  31. Michelle says:

    I am attempting to use 3 sep calendars – having no luck at all. 1. my calendar, 2) I want to post events in the Marketing calendar for people to view and 3) a calendar for room reservations.
    If I receive an email with a room reservation I cannot accept it because it will save to calendar 1!! This is the worst. I have to save everything to my own calendar then move each one by hand to the right calendar. Talk about wasting time and the 100% probability of an error. When that happens the appointment will say “we couldn’t find this meeting in the calendar, it may have been moved or deleted”. Simply awful, esp since Mac ical is so super easy!

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